Heat Look to Beat League-Worst Cavaliers

(Image credit: AP Photo/Joe Skipper)

Who: Cleveland Cavaliers (8-27) at Miami Heat (16-17)

What: A Blowout (For the Good Guys)

Where: American Airlines Arena – FL, Miami, FL

When: Friday, Dec. 28, 2018, 8:00 PM EST

Why: Back to .500

Injuries: Goran Dragic (knee surgery), Dion Waiters (ankle)

Hey guys, what’s up? It’s been a while. I’m back, and I guess I missed some sort of win streak or something? Just as people started to count Miami out, especially after knee surgery for Goran Dragic, Point Justice and the crew have come to save the day. Let’s talk about this game specifically:

Before:

The Cavaliers last played on Wednesday, when they fell to the Memphis Grizzlies, 95-87. They haven’t won a game since December 16, on a lucky tip-in from Larry Nance Jr. to beat the Pacers.

While I wasn’t looking, the Heat won five straight and clawed their way back to .500. The Heat played on Wednesday as well, losing a close game to the Raptors, 106-104. Read the recap here, it was a rough one.

This is the first meeting of the season between these two teams, and Cleveland won last year’s season series 2-1. Although, something tells me Miami might win the series this year. Just a hunch.

During:

The Cavs aren’t that great. Especially without Kevin Love, Rodney Hood and Tristan Thompson, who are both inactive for tonight’s game. As long as the Heat stay the course and play how they’ve been playing, I see no reason why they shouldn’t get back to their winning ways.

The player to watch is Hassan Whiteside, especially with Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson, Ante Zizic and John Henson all inactive for Cleveland. Their remaining bigs are Channing Frye and Larry Nance Jr. That sounds like another Whiteside 20/20 game to me.

The offensive key is to be aggressive. Colin Sexton, Alec Burks, and Jordan Clarkson aren’t exactly defensive stalwarts, and Point Justice makes the Heat starting lineup much bigger and longer. Attack the guards, blow by them, and score in the paint against a Cavs team with no players over 7’. Easy money.

Defensively, watch the iso plays. The Cavs are at the bottom of the NBA in assists per game, meaning a lot of their players prefer to score off the dribble. They’re also 30th in three-pointers made per game, so direct some more focus to the inside. Cleveland barely scores over 100 per game, so the Heat’s goal should be to hold them to about 90.

After:

Final Score Prediction: 107-90 Miami. Light work for a team that’s still rolling against a team that’s doing the opposite.

The Cavs head to Atlanta to play the Hawks tomorrow, in the second half of a back-to-back.

The Heat are back in action Sunday against the Minnesota Timberwolves, in Miami.

It’s good to be back! Follow @miamisportswave on Twitter/Instagram and @vaughanjasu on Twitter for more Heat content.

Related:

Daily Fantasy Update: 12/28

 

 

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